How to Read a Poem

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You don’t think a poem.

It cannot be read like a street sign.

Lick it from a bowl,

stretch your tongue out for the last bit of tastiness.

Sit in the mist, absorb it through your skin

whilst remembering the texture.

Let your goosebumps translate the words.

Consider the possible,

like being able to scratch that itch in the middle of your back

you can never reach.

Accept the pain in your ribs, like a toddler tantrum

an infuriating poke partnered with a presence of love.

All that lies outside of you and everything inside

this container called

I.

 
© Alicia Grimshaw 2017

national poetry month

“… encountering a difficult poem is like a game or sport, say rock climbing, that makes you work a bit. The idea of finding handholds and footholds and ascending one bit at a time is apt. But some climbs are easier than others; some are very easy. You may enjoy an easy climb for a while, but you may also find that you want a bigger challenge. Reading poetry works the same way, and, fortunately, poets leave trails to help you look for the way “up” a poem. You’ll have to do some work, hard work in some cases, but most of the time, the trails are there for you to discover.” – How to Read a Poem from Poets.org

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18 thoughts on “How to Read a Poem

  1. Your poetry continues to evolve. To me it seems to come from deeper inside you a time goes by. Thanks for sharing. Mom

    On Sat, Apr 1, 2017 at 11:24 AM, flashlight batteries wrote:

    > Ali Grimshaw posted: ” You don’t think a poem. It cannot be read like a > street sign. Lick it from a bowl, stretch your tongue out for the last bit > of tastiness. Sit in the mist, absorb it through your skin whilst > remembering the texture. Let your goosebumps translate the wo” >

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I hope that the way poetry is taught in schools begins to shift. Poetry is a beautiful way for people to start to understand the experiences of others. Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts.

        Like

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